Source: Calculated from NY Times Github COVID data repository. Data reported through 1/12/2021.
North Dakota now has the second-lowest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the country. (Well, maybe third — they are tied with Vermont, rounded to the nearest whole number.) Only Hawaii has a materially lower rate. Continue reading Post #947: COVID trends through 1/12/2021. Is North Dakota the bellwether?
And, a couple of weeks from now, when that state achieves the lowest rate in the nation, will people finally pay some attention to how they achieved that? And will our public health officials then stop lying about it?
And I am going to tell you which state, and what lie?
Eventually. Continue reading Post #928: Which state has the 4th lowest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.?
The news media don’t pay much attention to places that aren’t having trouble. But in the case of North Dakota, I think it’s pretty important to keep your eye on them even as their situation brightens.
I started out by joking about North Dakota and herd immunity (Post #889, Post #890). Then, at some point, that wasn’t a joke any longer (Post #900, Post #901). So in this post, I’m not even going to try to be amusing, because this is going to be a hard thing for many people to accept.
When looking at the situation in North Dakota, I think it’s important to try to separate out your value judgments from your analysis of the facts. As a value judgement, I think that letting many people die because you’re too stubborn to wear masks and want to return to a more relaxed lifestyle is a piss-poor way to respond to a deadly pandemic. As well as being an inefficient way to deal with it.
But purely as a matter of fact, I can’t deny that it should work. Even if they stumbled into it by denying and ignoring all the best public health advice. Even if nobody planned to have it play out this way. Purely as matter of fact, if enough people get infected, your population ought to get to herd immunity. Minus the ones that died on the way.
And ignoring the unnecessary risk imposed on hospital staffs and first responders, the permanent organ damage for some survivors, the substantial burden on the public purse for paying for those unnecessary hospitalizations, and so on. It’s a strategy, but don’t expect me to say it’s a good strategy.
So I’ll just go ahead and say it. I think this is the best best explanation of what’s happening now in North Dakota. I’m guessing they’re closing in on herd immunity, and that the pandemic there is winding down of its own accord. Continue reading Post #921: North Dakota: Is this what herd immunity looks like?